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Learning and Information for Families and Educators

A comprehensive, research based resource for families and educators of individuals with disabilities.

Seminars and Events


Click here for a video of the 2013 Special Kick Clinic!

In order to create a place where the playing field is leveled for children and young adults with special needs, The Watson Institute and KEYTEX Energy Inc. will offer the 2nd annual Special Kick Clinic, a FREE fun soccer event hosted by The Pittsburgh Riverhounds Professional Soccer Club at Highmark Stadium, located in Station Square, on Sunday, April 27, 2014 from 1 - 3 p.m.

“The Special Kick Clinic will be an inspiring, joyous, game-like experience for everyone participating to the best of their ability and where everyone gets to score a goal,” said Justin Evans, The Riverhounds’ Head Coach. “This experience is designed to be truly inclusive where accommodations are made so that everyone can join in to play.”  

This enjoyable soccer day will consist of specific areas of modified soccer drills led by Pittsburgh Riverhounds coaches and the entire team; along with players from The Riverhounds Academy youth development program. Participants will rotate through the customized drills in designated groups.

“Children and young adults sharing in the Special Kick Clinic Soccer event may find it provides an impetus to continue to engage in more inclusive sports and activities,” added Ray White, CEO of The Watson Institute. “We are excited to partner with KEYTEX Energy and their generous support of many youth services in the area as well as their ongoing dedication to children and education throughout the entire region. We are especially grateful for their insights and commitment to help us start The Special Kick Clinic last year and their continued support to grow this event so that even more participants can share in this enriching experience.” 

“KEYTEX is excited for the chance to help grow this wonderful event and is proud to partner with The Watson Institute in bringing this unique opportunity back to the children of Pittsburgh for another year.” said Greg Cammerata, President of KEYTEX Energy.

The Watson Institute and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds have long-term plans to continue the Special Kick Clinic annually.  In addition, both organizations are eager to share this great story with other professional soccer teams across the US in hopes they will be able to adopt this clinic model and offer it in their home cities.   

The FREE clinic is open to children and young adults with special needs and their siblings.

Click here to register a clinic participant(s).

Click here to volunteer.

Click here to register for an exhibitor table.

Click here to pay the exhibitor table registration online.

34th Annual Watson Institute/First National Bank Pro-Am Golf Tournament

Allegheny Country Club

Friday, June 6, 2014

Shotgun Start at Noon

Cocktails at 6 p.m.

Dinner at 7:30

For more information contact Lori McMurtrie, Pro-Am Coordinator at 412-749-2859 or

Watson Webinar:  Autism Spectrum Disorder, An Overview for Educators

This webinar is presented by Bonnie Jamieson, M.Ed., Educational Consultant at The Watson Institute and covers the definition of Autism Spectrum Disorder, characteristics and research.  Explanations of Theory of Mind and Executive Functioning and the implications for the classroom are provided.  Prevention and supportive interventions are presented with strategies to de-escalate 'meltdowns'.  The webinar is approximately 50 minutes and offers 1 PA Act 48 continuing education credit.

Click here to register and view the webinar.

Promoting Positive Behavior - Preventative Approaches in the Classroom

This webinar presented by Sophia Barrett, MS, Educational Consultant at The Watson Institute reviews effective preventative approaches and techniques to prevent disruptive behavior and improve student/teacher rapport for students in grades K-8.  This webinar is approximately 55 minutes and offers 1 PA Act 48 Continuing Education Credit.

Click here to register and view the webinar.